Education Tax Refund - Remember to Keep Receipts

The Prime Minister has reminded taxpayers that in order to claim the Education Tax Refund, parents obtain and retain their receipts and invoices.

For the year ended 30 June 2011, families can claim 50% of eligible education expenses, up to a maximum refund of $794 for high school children, and $397 for primary school children on back-to-school items. (Note that the amount of the refund increases each year by the Consumer Price Index – the rates for the year ended 30 June 2010 were $779 for high school children and $390 for primary school children.)

Parents who receive Family Tax Benefit Pt A for children in primary or secondary school are eligible for the Education Tax Refund, as well as independent students, and parents who receive some other allowances. Ms Gillard also reminded people that, from 1 July this year (2011), the Government will also extend the Education Tax Refund to include school uniforms.

Eligible education expenses include:
  • laptop computers, home computers and associated costs, including the repair and running costs of computer equipment
  • computer-related equipment such as printers, USB flash drives, and accessories designed and manufactured solely or predominantly for use with a laptop or home computer - for example laptop bags and wireless mouse
  • disability aids to assist in the use of computer equipment for students with special needs
  • home internet connections, including the costs of establishing and maintaining them
  • computer software for educational use
  • word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation software, and internet filters and antivirus software
  • school textbooks and other paper-based school learning material, including prescribed textbooks, associated learning materials, study guides and stationery – for example, pencils, pens, compasses and glue
  • prescribed trade tools.

Expenses that are not eligible for the Education Tax Refund include:
  • school fees
  • school uniform expenses
  • student attendance at school-based extra curricular activities such as excursions and camps
  • tutoring costs
  • musical instruments
  • sporting equipment
  • library book fees
  • building levies
  • school subject levies – for example, payment for consumables for particular subjects such as woodwork, art or home science
  • school photos
  • donations
  • tuck shop expenses
  • waiting list fees
  • transport
  • membership fees
  • computer games and consoles.
You cannot claim for an expense to the extent that:
  • it is tax deductible
  • it is subject to another tax offset
  • you receive, or are entitled to receive, a reimbursement or payment under an Australian Government benefit, grant or subsidy.

Copyright 2014. My Tax Zone.